Rahul Gandhi to take up farmers issues in Chhattisgarh
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi will take his "battle" for the cause of farmers to tribal- dominated Chhattisgarh next week where he is likely to corner ruling BJP over several issues including displacement due to coal mining and compensation against land acquisition.
Congress has planned an extensive tour of Amethi MP in Chhattisgarh's Korba and Janjgir-Champa districts on June 15 and 16 for which senior party leaders have started making arrangements.
"Earlier Rahul Gandhi's visit to the state was proposed on June 14-15, but now it has been finalised for June 15-16. Senior party leaders along with workers have started preparations to make his visit a huge success," state Congress unit chief Bhupesh Baghel told PTI.
Gandhi will kick off his tour from Kudmura village in Korba district, located around 300 kms from state capital Raipur, where he will meet villagers affected by the wild elephants menace in the region, Baghel said.
"In the past couple of years, over 300 people were killed while 35-40 pachyderms succumbed due to human-elephant clash in the region. It clearly shows that the state government has failed to make a proper plan to ensure safe habitat for wild elephants as well as the people," he alleged.
Gandhi will later meet forest dwellers and villagers bearing the brunt of coal mining in Hasdeo-Arand coalfields, he said.
The villagers hit by the coal projects have knocked the doors of Collectors and other officers for compensation against their land or to oppose the displacement in the past, but their voices have remained unheard so far, he claimed.
On June 16, Gandhi will set out on a foot march along with large number of farmers, party leaders and workers from Saradih village to Dabhra in Janjgir-Champa district covering a distance of around 12 kms, Baghel said.
"To supply water to over 40 power plants proposed to come up in Janjgir-Champa, the state government has been constructing seven barrages on Mahanadi river there, including the barrages at Saradih, Biraoni, Kalma and Basantpur villages," he said.
As many as 10 villages are falling in the submergence area of these barrages, but so far local administration has neither informed villages about it nor has it taken any step for their settlement, he alleged.
The Congress Vice President will also hold a 'chaupal' to talk to farmers who have lost their land to power projects in Janjgir-Champa.